Archive for Shahriar

Texas Instrument TI-PMLK Power Management/Conversion Kit Tutorial, Review & Experiments

In this episode Shahriar presents a meticulously prepared set of educational lab kits on Power Conversion by Texas Instruments. These kits include  Buck, Boost, LDO and Buck-Boost power conversion courses complete with a beautiful set of lab instructions and PCBs. Each kit describes up to 7 different exercises which demonstrates various aspects of power conversion characterization and design challenge.

In particular the Buck Lab kit is examined. The PCB is populated with two different Buck DC-DC converters which are carefully described in the lab kit. The first experiment of the lab kit is performed which involves measuring system efficiency under various load conditions and switching frequency. The inductor current, MOSFET switching voltage and output waveform are examined on the oscilloscope.

How Do Purely Passive Watt-Meters Work? (Giveaway Results & More Giveaway! December 2018)

In this episode Shahriar demonstrates the principle of operation of a purely passive Weston watt-meter manufactured in the 1950’s in Newark, NJ, USA. This watt-meter makes no use of active devices (tube or solid-state) and yet is able to measure real-power both at DC and AC.

The teardown of the unit shows the construction of two coils interacting to advance the needle on the display. One coil produces a magnetic flux proportional to the current input and the other coil produces a magnetic flux propositional to the voltage. The interaction of the flux moves the needle proportional to the total power which is the product of current and voltage. The instrument is then used in conjunction with a power supply and electronic DC load to verify its functionality.

Teardown & Repair of an GW Instek PSW80-40.5 1080W Multi-Range Programmable Power Supply

In this episode Shahriar investigates the failure of a GW Instek 1080W power supply capable of providing up to 80V and 40A of programmable output voltage and current respectively. The power supply does not power on. However, relay noises can be heard inside the instrument during power on.

Teardown of the unit reveals a modular design with PCBs on all sides. The instrument comprises 6 different modules and 3 complete power supplies in parallel. The controller circuit is powered from the middle power supply module. Examination of the boards reveals three separate failed devices. The in-rush power resistor which prevents the main supply board from startup, a damaged MOS power transistor on the supply output and surface mount resistors. All components are replaced. The instrument’s performance is verified with a BK Precision 8601 electronic load.

Three Interesting Mailbag Reviews & Giveaway! (November 2018)

In this episode Shahriar reviews three mailbag items. There is also a new giveaway! Follow the instruction at the beginning of the video to enter. The reviews are organized at follows:

00:09 – Introduction & Giveaway Details
02:21 – Leo Bodnar Electronic – Fast Pulse Generator

These fast pulse generators are rated to below 25ps! The modules are examined and various microwave and design considerations are explored. The block diagram and functionality of the final output driver is also described in details. The units are used to measure the rise and fall time of various oscilloscopes ranging from 300MHz to 13GHz of analog bandwidth. You can purchase your own fast pulse generator here.

21:11 – SV1AFN GPS Disciplined Oscillator

This GPS disciplined oscillator not only provides frequency synchronization to the GPS clock, it also provides programmable outputs on two independent channels using a Silicon Labs synthesizer IC. The complete module acts as standalone unit which only requires power and GPS antenna connection. The full schematic and block diagram of the synthesizer chipset is presented along with measured output waveform, frequency an phase noise at 1GHz. You can purchase your own GPS DO here.

33:28 – Sain Smart USB-C TS80 Portable Soldering Iron

This soldering iron which supports QC 3.0 is the followup of the very popular TS100 soldering iron. The unit can operate with up to 18W of power from 9V. However, it does not support PD on USB-C. By using the AVHzY USB tester the power bank can be configured to provide any desired output voltage and deliver up to 28W into the TS80 soldering iron. Using this method, the TS80 soldering iron can easily solder large components on a wide ground plane. The TS80 soldering iron can be purchased here or internationally from here. The Ankar PD+ 28600mAh power bank can be purchased from here and the AVHzY USB tester can be purchased here.

Here is the list of donations we have made to One Simple Wish:

A laptop for Macy who is about to start college
New shoes for Emily who loves to walk around campus
New Clothes for Myla who loves to play outside
A new pair of school shoes for Lemon who loves all sports
A new digital watch to remind Kevin to take his medicine
A new coat for Thad to stay warm and look cool
New clothes for Sharain who is looking for new employment after graduation
New work clothes for Christine who is excited to start her new job
A new Desk Lamp for Cristal so she can focus on homework
Sensory tools for Wyatt who needs a bit of extra help
Safe transportation for Shakeny who loves musica
New clothes for Isaiah who is very clever
Some new clothes for Katelyn who is making a change in her life
A new pair of sneakers for Sohelia the avid dog walker

Teardown, Repair and Analysis of an Anritsu MS2721B 7.1GHz Portable Spectrum Analyzer

In this episode Shahriar investigates the failure of an Anritsu MS2712B 1.7GHz portable spectrum analyzer with built-in tracking generator. The instrument is missing the main firmware flash card which is easily replaced. A full teardown of the instrument is presented with focus on both the tracking generator PCB and main RF deck. Various ASICs and microwave components are closely examined. To help with removing and replacing many microwave screws, a Hitachi electric screwdriver is used which can be purchased here.

After re-assembly of the unit, it becomes apparent that a mechanical push on the RF deck causes the LO1 PLL to unlock. This points to a fault in one of the microwave components. The issue is traced to a broken solder joint inside of the VCO modules. After repair, the instrument functions normally. The performance and tracking generator functionality is verified by measuring a tuneable band-pass filter.

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